Predicting the Top-12 QBs for Week 17 (Fantasy Football)
Last week’s QB article gave some clear championship streaming options (hello Ryan Fitzpatrick and Andy Dalton) but fell short in a couple areas.
Russell Wilson and the Seahawks laid an absolute egg last week.
Deshaun Watson and the Texans offense didn’t have to do much as Jameis Winston threw to that team just as much.
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys sputtered against the Eagles.
Let’s shake it off and finish 2019 strong. Here is how I will breakdown the QBs heading into Week 17:
Four-Sures: Top-4 for the week and definite must-starts.
Com-Four-table: Four QBs with relatively safe floors with added upside to be a solid top-12 choice.
Four In the Door: Four QBs who could sneak into the top-12 including the Ballers “Stream of the Week” options and at least one daring dart throw.
Four-Get-About-It: Four QBs I’m fading this week and projecting to finish outside the top 12. Often this includes some higher-profile QBs with tougher matchups that could underperform.
***IMPORTANT NOTE*** There are 15-20 viable QB starts each week. If you don’t see your guy listed on here, that’s ok. This article is about predicting the top-12 not necessarily who is safest. I’d strongly advise you to follow Andy, Mike, and Jason’s advice for where they have QBs ranked for Week 17.
Drew Brees @ CAR
Brees is currently breaking his single-season mark for completion rate (75.3%) and the Saints have a shot at the No. 1 seed this week against the lowly Panthers. Brees went for 318 and three TDs against them in Week 12. Brees has averaged 288 passing yards and 1.9 TDs in his career versus Carolina. That’s a floor you can count on. Despite only being 1-point road favorites, count on Brees to seal the deal.
Patrick Mahomes vs LAC
In just 13 games this season, Mahomes has been solid but not over-the-top spectacular like he was last year with a line of 3,857/25/4. The Chiefs wrapped up the AFC West but have their sights on a first-round bye if things shake out right. The Chiefs have the 4th highest team implied total (27) so almost four TDs has to come somewhere. While the Chargers overall defensive numbers look good, they rank just 19th in pass DVOA and 24th in adjusted sack rate. If you’ve gotten this far with Mahomes, he’s your guy.
Aaron Rodgers @ DET
Rodgers only has five top-12 performances on the season, also known as the same as Derek Carr or Mitch Trubisky. That’s not good folks. I think he adds to that total this week against Detroit with a potential first-round bye at stake. The Lions rank 29th in pass DVOA and allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing QBs on the season. The Packers are 12.5-point favorites with an implied point total of 27.8 points.
Deshaun Watson vs TEN
Watson is the QB2 on the season but last week he was a major fantasy letdown despite the Texans winning against Tampa Bay. In The Titans have allowed the 9th most passing yards and the highest percentage of “clean pockets” in the league. That last stat is imperative for a QB that has been sacked at a higher rate than any other QB since entering the league. The Texans have locked-in the No. 4 seed in the AFC and could move up to No. 3 if things shake out.
Dak Prescott vs WSH
Dak has been down of late completing less than 60 percent of his passes since Week 12. But the Cowboys have the 2nd highest team implied total (27.8) of the week as 11-point home favorites. Washington has allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing QBs over the last month and were destroyed by Dak in Week 2 for 28.7 fantasy points as the QB3 on the week. He’s an easy top-5 guy this week.
Jameis Winston vs ATL
Winston bumbled his way to four INTs last week and now leads the league in pass attempts, passing yards, and INTs. The volume is what is driving his fantasy output as he now stands at QB5 and about to surpass 5,000 yards. In Week 12, Winston was the QB4 against Atlanta and with the 3rd lowest adjusted sack rate in the league, Atlanta is easy prey at home. This game has the highest/over (50) of the week in a straight pick’em. Jameis is Jason’s Start of the Week.
Matt Ryan @ TB
On the other side of the ball, Matt Ryan is a solid choice in Week 17. Atlanta is up for their fourth straight victory and Tampa Bay has allowed the 9th most fantasy points to QBs and the most to WRs. Last year in Week 17 versus Tampa Bay, Ryan went for 378 & 2 AND caught a receiving TD. There might be room for one more Julio Jones explosion this season. In 15 career games versus the Bucs ( so basically almost a full season), he’s averaging 10.5 targets, seven receptions, 118 yds & 0.7 TDs.
Ryan Tannehill @ HOU
Tanny for fantasy has been as solid as it gets as he posted his 7th straight 20+ point week despite falling to the Saints. Win and the Titans are in and he’ll have Derrick Henry back this week. The Teans rank 26th in pass DVOA and have allowed the 4th most fantasy points to opposing QBs on the year. In Week 15, Tannehill was the QB4 scoring three total TDs. As 5-point favorites with an implied point total of 25.5 points, Tennessee should be competitive in what could be a shootout. Tannehill is Andy’s Start of the Week.
Russell Wilson vs SF
Wilson has been far from trustable over the last half of the season. Finding him all the way down here as a in fringe QB1-ville is hard to swallow unless you realize the dude is the QB24 over his last eight games. This game is massively important for the NFC West crown, playoff seeding, and the outlook of the Seahawks. The 49ers have actually allowed four top-12 performances in a row and the MOST QB fantasy points allowed over the last month. Wow. Their season-long numbers still look stout but they’ve succumbed to lots of injuries as of late. With so much at stake, I like Wilson to complete a few deep passes as he has the 2nd highest percentage of 20+ yard attempts in the league.
Jared Goff vs ARI
The 2019 Rams haven’t been the offensive juggernaut they were in previous years. Regardless, it’s Week 17 and perhaps this team could let out some anger on their divisional mates. The Cardinals have allowed the 2nd most passing yards and the 3rd most 20+ yard passing plays. That’s a Sean McVay special as Goff has completed the 2nd most big plays while seeing the lowest sack rate in the league. Tyler Higbee has basically been unstoppable over the last month and now gets to play in TE-pooloza. Arizona has allowed the most schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing QBs and 24.1 fantasy points to Goff in Week 13.
Tom Brady vs MIA
Since 2013, New England is just 7-5 versus Miami but it’s hard imagining the Patriots losing this one as 16-point home favorites. In 34 career games versus Miami, Brady is averaging 1.9 pass TDs per game which gives him a safe floor. Miami ranks dead last in pass DVOA, given up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing QBs, and the highest percentage of 20+ yard pass plays. Brady is the Footballers’ Consensus QB10 for Week 17.
Drew Lock vs. OAK
Lock is a rookie but he’s shown upside this season and now gets to face a Raiders team that has an outside shot of the playoffs. Nothing would be more satisfying for the Broncos to ruin their division rivals chances. The Broncos are 3.5-point favorites with an implied point total of 22.25 points. The Raiders rank 31st in pass DVOA and allowed the 5th most fantasy points to opposing QBs this season. I’m expecting a Courtland Sutton resurgence as well as Oakland allows the most 20+ yard pass plays per game (4.5) in the league. He’s more a DFS stacking option that a season-long start.
Josh Allen vs NYJ
This might seem enticing but Allen has struggled over the last month. Granted his last three games have been tough (BAL, @PIT, @NE) but his numbers have been declining for a while. He has the lowest completion rate in NFL (58.8%) and all the way back in Week 1 Allen was just the QB16 that week. His rushing floor is always appealing but the Jets are a perfect counterpoint to this Bills squad. They rank 2nd in rush DVOA and 1st in adjusted line yards. He’s way down in the Footballers’ rankings sitting as the Consensus QB25 on the week.
Daniel Jones vs PHI
Last week was fun as we’ve come to expect the every so often offensive explosion from the rookie. Jones actually has as many 4+ passing TD games as Troy Aikman and Michael Vick had in their entire careers. The weird quirk is that all of his big games have come on the road. At home, Jones is averaging just 216 passing yards and one passing TD per game to go along with 12 turnovers. He’s fumbling at an insane rate with 16 in only 11 starts, already the 4th most by a rookie in league history. The Eagles at home have something to play for so expect them to dominate and confuse the rookie.
Philip Rivers @ KC
This might be the last we see of Philip Rivers in a Chargers uniform. While I’ve always had a soft spot for the Chargers, it might be time to move on as Rivers has imploded numerous times this year and last week an embarrassing home loss to the Raiders took the cake. I wouldn’t go near Rivers this week. Since 2014, he’s 1-10 versus Kansas City and Andy Reid and company actually have something to play for. On top of that, the Chiefs have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs over the last month.
Kirk Cousins vs CHI
The Vikings are already locked into the playoffs so there’s really not a ton for them to play for after losing last week to the Packers. Cousins was sacked six times in Week 4 against the Bears and I’m not crazy about his chances again this week. The Bears rank 7th in pass DVOA and allowed the 4th lowest pass TD rate in the league.
Last week: 6/12
2019 Predictions: 55%